I find my heart rate monitor most useful to govern my easy running- to make sure I am not running too fast. If it is not a speed work session, I keep myself in check.
Very rarely does it happen that I have to make sure I am not going too slow. Most often I run by feel, moseying at a comfortable pace (which may be 8:00-9:00 minute miles), checking the HRM from time to time. My heart rate usually happens to be right within the range.
Sunday, I felt good.
I mean I felt GOOD.
It was long run day, and my monitor kept showing ludicrously low numbers in the first mile. I decided to go with it. The results? My first long run ever (outside of races) where I ran every mile under 8 minutes. At twelve miles it was fairly short, but my HR stayed under 140 (my target top end for easy). My calves had no idea what hit them.
This happened a few days in a row. Low heart rate>>>run faster to try reach the 139 mark.
Five days later they were still sore to roll out (but not to run).This little game of seeing how fast I needed to run to stay at the top end of easy range was maybe not-so-bright, but I was curious.
I missed an interval workout, concerned that maybe I had strained my calves. Since then, I have decided that if my legs feel sore, that it means I really need to be in RECOVERY range (easier than easy).
Fast forward to today...
Interval session planned.
I spring out of bed on 5 hours of sleep, hit the road in 37F and expect to see my HRM in the 120's. Instead I can't make it down the driveway (easy pace) without seeing it hit 161- which is my 5k interval zone. WAY too high.
I slow down a bit and figure it will ease up...and it does, a little..to the 150's. Still 10 points too high. I could not get it to settle down.
Temptation calls...I considered taking the monitor off.
Instead I took off my ipod to see if it was interfering. Yet the numbers were still jumping from the 160's to the 170's and my max is 173!
It never felt like my heart was going to leap from my chest, but I decided to behave myself and abandoned my interval plans.
At home I took a nap, (or tried to) for about an hour.
After lunch I went out again and there were no issues with keeping my heart rate under 140, going at 8:30 pace. So I finished off 5x1k at 5k pace- never going above 161.
Now I just need to figure out how to run my intervals hard enough to get in the interval zone.
Thankful to enjoy running, and LIVING, here in this small town.
Photo of Mary Beckley Bridge, built after the flood of 1964 washed out the old bridge.
Thankful to be a mom to these boys, and a wife to their dad.
Thankful for my health and my family's health.
Thankful to have a river for a playground.
Thankful for simple pleasures: Coffee, hot showers, a full freezer/pantry.
Thankful for the opportunity to home-school my kids, and to see two of them reading!
Thankful for freedom and the men and women who work (have worked) to protect it.
Thankful for cousins and aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas who are just a shout away.
Thankful for friendships.
Thankful for a savior who would love and rescue me, despite my numerous flaws, faults, shortcomings.
Thankful for some quiet time, changing seasons, things to come.